There will be no limits to prosecutors’ investigation into an alleged corruption scandal involving former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), the nation’s top prosecutor said yesterday.
State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming (黃世銘) made the comments on the sidelines of an opening ceremony for an exhibition on prosecutorial achievements in Taipei yesterday.
Lin was accused of accepting NT$63 million (US$2.1 million) in bribes from businessman Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) to help him secure a contract from a subsidiary of China Steel Corp and of then demanding more money from Chen. Lin was listed as a defendant after investigators searched his residence for evidence of his alleged corruption.
Asked to comment on how prosecutors would count the NT$18 million worth of wet dollar bills that Lin’s mother, Shen Juo-lan (沈若蘭), had stuffed into plastic bags and thrown into a pool in her backyard before investigators raided Lin’s residence in Fongshan District (鳳山) on Sunday, Huang said it had been hard, but they were almost finished counting the money.
“The NT$18 million was wet and some of the bills were hard to identify, so initially the prosecutors had spread the bills on tables and dried them with fans,” he said. “But then the bills kept flying around in the breeze. Investigators then decided it was better to put them in sealed boxes and dry them with desiccatory products.”
The counting would be completed in a few days, he added.
As for the sum of US dollars that Shen reportedly burned before investigators reached her residence, Huang said that the Criminal Police Bureau has been working on identifying the burned ashes.
Huang also confirmed that Chen, the owner of Ti Yung Co, who alleged giving Lin NT$63 million in return for a business contract, has qualified as a state witness under the Witness Protection Act (證人保護法).
Article 14 of the Witness Protection Act stipulates that a defendant or a suspect can be given the status of prosecution witness if his or her testimony has helped investigators obtain evidence to prosecute other principal offenders or accomplices.
The act also provides that sentences for state witnesses can be reduced or exempted with the prosecutor’s prior approval.
Additional reporting by CNA